Daily Business Report-Jan. 26, 2017
Illustration courtesy of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation.
Court Rules Convention Center
Expansion Legally Sound
The city of San Diego’s plans for expanding its waterfront convention center have been ruled legally sound and fully compliant with the California Coastal Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.
The ruling by Superior Court Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil in San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition v. Coastal Commission is a strong validation of the planning processes of the three public agencies involved in the project: the California Coastal Commission, the Unified Port of San Diego and the City of San Diego, according to city officials.
“This is a resounding victory that supports our efforts to bring new jobs, visitors and revenues to San Diego,” City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. “Just as importantly, this ruling protects coastal access and recreational opportunities on the waterfront while ensuring our region’s needs are met.”
The decision clears the way for an eventual expansion that was approved by the San Diego City Council and the Port Commission in 2012 and by a unanimous Coastal Commission in 2013.
“Today’s strong ruling is tremendous news for San Diego’s economy and removes one of the biggest hurdles to expanding the convention center,” Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said. “This expansion is all about creating jobs and growing tourism as well as keeping and attracting large conventions like Comic-Con. I want to thank the City Attorney’s Office, the Port and the California Coastal Commission for their hard work in winning this important case.”
The project would add new exhibit space and meeting rooms needed to accommodate the nation’s largest conventions. The plans include an elevated five-acre public park with panoramic views of San Diego Bay, improvements to an existing pier for use as a public recreational viewpoint, and the replacement of loading docks and other pedestrian-unfriendly uses with visitor-serving amenities that encourage use of the area.
UCSD Researchers Receive $4 Million
Grants to Fight Zika Virus, Cancer
The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has approved a pair of $2 million awards to UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers to advance studies of new treatments for Zika virus infections and the use of stem cell-derived natural killer (NK) cells to target ovarian cancer and other malignancies.
The Zika virus is linked to increased birth defects, most notably microcephaly — newborns with smaller than expected heads and abnormal brain development. But the virus can also impact infected adults, resulting in conditions such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, meningoencephalitis, uveitis and acute myelitis — all disorders of the immune system affecting different parts of the body.
While there is an on-going, accelerated international effort to develop a preventive Zika vaccine, researchers say the need is critical, too for pharmacological treatments of already infected individuals, including pregnant women for whom prevention is no longer an option.
“There is urgent need to move as quickly as we can into clinical trials and, hopefully, find an effective treatment,” said Alysson R. Muotri, professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine departments of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine and director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program. “This is especially true of infected mothers where a Zika infection during the first trimester of pregnancy appears to pose the greatest risk of congenital microcephaly.”
San Diego’s Poinsettia Bowl
Canceled After 12-Year Run
Organizers of San Diego’s two college football post-season games announced Wednesday that they will drop the Poinsettia Bowl after a dozen years to focus on the Holiday Bowl.
“College football and the bowl game structure has gone through major changes through the years and our board feels the time is right to focus our efforts on one post-season game,” said Mark Neville, executive director of the San Diego Bowl Game Association. “The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl staged exciting match-ups for more than a decade and we were one of the few cities to host two bowl games.”
Discussions are also underway with the San Diego Padres about playing the Holiday Bowl at Petco Park in the event Qualcomm Stadium closes after 2018.
The Padres have already started talking to the architectural firm that designed Petco Park about what would be required to allow football to be played in the stadium.
“For now we plan to continue producing the Holiday Bowl and its one-of-a-kind fan experience in Qualcomm Stadium,” said Neville. “However, Petco Park could one day serve as the ideal home for the Holiday Bowl. It’s certainly a tremendous venue with world-class amenities that our fans would enjoy.”
Cal State San Marcos Records
Record Freshman Applications
California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) received a record amount of applications for the fall. The University also had the highest one- and two-year increase in freshmen applications in the 23-campus California State University system.
For fall 2017, CSUSM received 16,352 applications from prospective first-time freshman, a 7.86 percent increase from fall 2016 and a 21.38 percent increase from fall 2015.
CSUSM also received 8,604 fall 2017 transfer applications, 0.3 percent fewer than fall 2016. However, it is an 8.4 percent increase from fall 2015.
“It’s clear once again that CSUSM has distinguished itself as a first-choice institution,” said CSUSM President Karen Haynes. “Students from our region, California and beyond know that CSUSM is an academic community like no other that will prepare them for success while also offering opportunities for personal growth and leadership.”
Fall 2017 applicants can expect to receive notification of acceptance by the close of January 2017.
County Animal Services Provides
Free Care for Homeless Pets
Every year, County Animal Services teams up with other organizations at Project Homeless Connect in Downtown San Diego tonprovide health and wellness services for animals in the homeless community.
“The community here takes very good care of their animals,” said veterinarian Cassie Hamilton. “We’re trying to get them as healthy as we can keep them.”
Animal Services provides veterinarian services, including dental checks and flea prevention, but also pet supplies like sweaters and leashes.
“I see what the animals can do for the homeless, so anytime you have the chance to give back… it’s always a good thing,” said Hamilton.
Jonathan Strauss and Michael Hubbert
Join Christopher Weil & Company
Christopher Weil & Company Inc. announced that Jonathan Strauss and Michael Hubbert have joined the firm. Strauss is a graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University and brings skills in business-to-business consultative selling and client management. He joins CWC’s team of relationship managers responsible for providing advisory and management services for existing clients and originating relationships with prospects. Additionally, Strauss is now part of CWC’s 401(k) team responsible for new 401(k) advisory relationships with law firms, medical practices and auto dealerships.
Hubbert is a recent New York transplant and an alum of Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. He brings twelve years portfolio management experience and analytical skills to CWC’s platform. He joins CWC’s investment team responsible for designing long-term wealth management strategies and allocating client and partner funds across global equity, bond and thematic market sectors.